The Community Against Preventable Injuries

The Community Against Preventable Injuries

December 02, 2009 16:00 ET

The Community Against Preventable Injuries: Media Advisory; Falls From Ladders Are Preventable

Unique billboard design creates awareness about safety

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - It's that time of the year when people are decorating their homes for the holidays or cleaning leaves from their gutters. It's also when we begin seeing an increase in the number of people injured from falling off ladders. Fortunately, many of these injuries are preventable.

The Community Against Preventable Injuries (The Community) is creating awareness about ladder safety with a unique billboard design at a high-traffic location near GM Place. The billboard features a string of dangling Christmas lights giving the impression that someone has fallen off a ladder before they finished the job.

Dr. Ian Pike, spokesperson for The Community, can be interviewed at the billboard site if necessary. Also, a high-resolution image of the WorkSafeBC diagram showing how to safely use a ladder is available for publishing.

WHO:The Community Against Preventable Injuries
  
WHAT:Billboard to create awareness about preventing falls from ladders
  
WHEN:On display now until the end of December 2009
  
WHERE:Expo Boulevard and Nelson Street, near BC Place in Vancouver

Backgrounder: Falls from Ladders

Will you be the first on the block to put up your lights? Will you have the most elaborate and festive design? The Community Against Preventable Injuries (The Community) encourages everyone to think about the risks involved and take appropriate measures to prevent falls from ladders.

Ladders are one of the largest, yet simplest tools to use. However, there are numerous preventable injuries due to falls from ladders each year. Falls from ladders can occur at any time and any place. We may not think about this as a preventable injury, especially if we do not have jobs that require ladders, but falls from ladders also happen at home, not just in the workplace.

There is typically an increase in injuries during the fall as people clean out gutters, and in the winter as people start decorating their homes for the holidays.

Falling from any height can cause injury or even death. Enjoy the holiday season, but remember to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of preventable injuries.

FACTS

  • Almost 2,000 British Columbians are injured and about seven die each year due to falls from ladders.
  • Serious injuries due to falls from ladders are most prevalent among British Columbians aged 45 to 60 years.

BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2009

PREVENTING FALLS FROM LADDERS

  • Use caution on ladders. Wear footwear with a heavy tread or slip-resistant shoes with rubber soles
  • Get a 'spotter' to hold the ladder for you
  • Make sure your CSA-approved ladder is free from damage to rungs and siderails and long enough (at least one metre extending over the roofline or working surface) for the task you are doing
  • Ensure proper positioning of the ladder as necessary to avoid over-reaching
  • Do not exceed the ladder's maximum load rating
  • Ensure the base rests on firm and level ground. Large flat, wooden boards can level a ladder that is on uneven or soft ground
  • Whether you are climbing up or down, always face the ladder
  • Use a three-point contact climbing method (two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet)
  • Stepladders should never be used folded up and leaning against a surface
  • Secure the ladder to the roof for increased safety

Source: Canada Safety Council, 2005; Smartrisk, 2008; WorkSafeBC, 2009

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